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Topics: Books collecting , collectors , Collecting guide. Are you tired of electronic communication, various digital e-readers, and music that seems to be available only through streaming platforms?

Do you long for the days of analog technology filled with stacks of physical books and vinyl records? Creating a book collection can give you the pleasure, in some small way, of preserving a past that feels nearly lost. In finding that pleasure, you can begin the process of pushing back against the digitization of the twenty-first century and reminding yourself of the significance of physical objects in the material world. But when it comes to book collecting, there are so many more reasons to pursue this endeavor beyond nostalgia and longing.

Curating a book collection is so much more than a hobby. For many, it becomes a singular creation. One of the best reasons to start a book collection , and to continue building that collection over the years, is that collecting can be a truly exciting undertaking. When you travel to a new city, state, or country, you can seek out bookstores where you might find unexpected objects for your collection.

Book collecting can also be a fun way to spend time from the comfort of your own sofa or desk. Many auction houses even have online platforms, allowing you to bid remotely on a book or piece of ephemera that would be perfect for your collection. Beyond the thrill of finding news objects to add to your collection, creating and maintaining a book collection can also fill you with a sense of purpose.

While some people regularly shop for mass-produced consumer items that are likely to end up in a landfill, building a book collection can allow you to find meaning despite other difficulties or disappointments that are bound to occur over the course of a lifetime.

One aspect of collecting—certainly cataloguing—is to exert control over the general chaos of life. A collector will hope to be in control even at, and beyond, the end. Building a book collection can allow you to discover new ideas, texts, presses, writers, cataloguers, typographers, graphic designers, bookstores, and even regions of the globe that you never knew about.

For example, you might begin a collection with first editions of Louis Erdrich works, but as you learn more about Indigenous literatures, that collection might expand to include works by other Indigenous authors in the U.

such as Leslie Marmon Silko or Ray Young Bear, and to Indigenous writers in other parts of the world like Alexis Wright or Witi Ihimaera. You may find your collection expanding in other ways, too. For example, if you begin collecting the works of Jorge Luis Borges, you could discover a variety of interesting independent presses that worked on translations and publications of his pieces across the twentieth century, leading to a new arm of your collection.

While your book collection need not have market value to have worth to you and to others such as researchers , a book collection often can be a monetary investment. If you put together a collection that has substantial market value, you could discover that your book collection is ultimately the most prized investment you own.

And even if the collection does not have significant market value, it can nonetheless be an essential intellectual investment. Indeed, you could be assembling a collection with substantial scholarly importance for researchers in the years and decades to come. By curating a collection—choosing what goes into the collection and explaining why—and cataloguing it meticulously, you can create an important and valuable record for the future.

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A Lifetime of Learning: Discovering as You Build Your Collection Building a book collection can allow you to discover new ideas, texts, presses, writers, cataloguers, typographers, graphic designers, bookstores, and even regions of the globe that you never knew about. Collecting as an Investment While your book collection need not have market value to have worth to you and to others such as researchers , a book collection often can be a monetary investment.

World literature scholar and erstwhile lawyer. Lover of international travel, outdoor markets, and rare books. About this blog How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you’ll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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